Monday, July 25, 2011

Cleaning Out My Pantry

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Hello ladies!  First of all I’d like to say thank you to those of you who left thoughtful, heart-felt comments on my post about Amy Winehouse’s death.  I was glad to see that I was not the only one to be so touched by her passing, and thanks for letting me share that in this little corner of cyberspace.  And thank you to those of you who have joined me on facebook, too!  If you haven’t yet, I hope you’ll join me, and if your blog has a page, be sure to let me know!


Hubs and I were blessed beyond merit to be able to buy our first home two years ago.  We needed a place that was in our price range and would allow Hubs to have office space as he owns his own small business and works from home.  We found this lovely three storey townhouse condo and it was the first place we saw and the one we ended up buying as it just fit all of our needs.  I am so thankful for our home everyday, and after years of living in small one and two bedroom apartments, this feels like a palace!

Now all that being said, there is one draw-back to this place, and that is very little in the way of closet or pantry space.  My kitchen is great in that it is big and there’s plenty of counter space, but it also doubles as our laundry room, and thus the part of the room that could be taken up with fantastic pantry space is instead the home of our washer and dryer (which of course I am thankful for every day… not only do I have my own machines but because they are in my kitchen i dont have to try to run up and down the stairs to do laundry and look after a baby at the same time!  awesome!).

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My solution as been to wedge a narrow Ikea bookshelf/pantry in the space between the washer and the wall in the kitchen, to use as pantry space.  As this isnt really sufficient space, especially now that I am learning to can and preserve, I have also begun using the bottom portions of the bookshelves in our dining room for extra storage.  It may not be “ideal” but it works for me and gives me just enough space to have a good functioning kitchen.

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upper and lower pantry, “before”… egaads!

Something that can get me super frustrated quickly is the fact that its actually a bit awkward to get into my pantry because the doors open right where my washer and laundry hamper are.  And before you ask, “well couldnt you just move them?” I can assure you I have wracked my brain to figure out a way to move things around but, alas, this is it.  And if I go without a hamper I end up with laundry piled up on top of my washing machine, which is unsightly and also stressful.  So I wanted to reorganize in a way that would allow me to put the things that I needed access to most frequently ont he right, which is more accessable, and the things that I use a bit less frequently, or which are plain and easy to see and dont need a lot of digging around to find, on the left.  This is what i came up with.

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Bottom pantry, “after”…. ahhh much better

I have the added incentive to keep my pantry organized because a whole half of it is exposed and open to be seen.  Here’s my before and after.

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before and after

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Is there anything cuter or more homey than glass jars full of pretty things?

As for the extra pantry space in the dining room, I reorganized the shelves I was already using and cleared out some junk that wasnt going to get eaten.  I also took all the stuff out of the cupboard I was repurposing for canned goods, and as it was filled with scented candles, I needed to get rid of the smell.  What did I use but my trusty white vinegar, of course!  Worked like a charm!  I gave those candles away to a friend and have since filled those cupboards up with lots of jars of goodies!

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Hopefully this will encourage you ladies out there that need to have a good cleaning and reorganizing of your pantry to get on the apron and get ‘er done.  Its one of those things its easy to put off, but then you finally just want to lose your mind because things are falling out of cupboards and you can’t find anything. 

Happy cleaning, housewives! 


Mrs Evans said...

Good Job! I really need to get to work on my pantry. Its a cupboard under the stair deal, which means cramped and awkward! It tends to get messy quick too. You have inspired me, and I will now hove to go through and reorganize it:)
God Bless, and have a great week!

Laura said...

I have a really small kitchen and it drives me insane. I am constantly looking for ways to incorporate more space. We have some shelving downstairs that I use for all of my baking stuff. I just hate having to go down there all of the time to see if I have something.

You did an awesome job on your pantry! It looks so nice, clean and organized. Good for you!


Lily said...

Organization is the key to everything

kitchen table with bench